Blog

on Edinburgh Architecture

Edinburgh being such a treasure trove of interesting stories, we can’t possibly fit everything into our tours, can we? On our blog, architecture students and teachers love talking about all things architecture – we share Edinburgh’s architectural history research, and suggest fun architectural days out. Here, we also announce our news and invite you to events we are excited about. 

Edinburgh
Marie de Bryas

Brutalist legacy in Edinburgh

Brutalism is an easy movement to hate on aesthetic grounds. Its bare concrete buildings can stand out in a uniform sandstone city like Edinburgh. The lack of decoration on its block-like structure has fallen out of fashion since the 1970s. Prince Charles even famously qualified a brutalist proposal as a “monstrous carbuncle”. But in order to fully appreciate and understand the style, it is important to understand the moral and historical implication of such movement. Edinburgh has a great legacy of brutalist architecture, offering us a wide range of examples, such as social housing blocks, university buildings or office constructions.

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Victoria Street Edinburgh | Victoria Terrace | Old Town | Royal Mile Tour
Edinburgh
Marie de Bryas

EDINBURGH OLD TOWN: CITY SHAPED BY FIRE. PART 3

Standardisation was used as a tool against the threat of fire. However, this method was not completely successful in stopping fires in the old town. Disastrous fires in Edinburgh prompted large scale urban planning projects in the Old Town, which allowed for wider, cleaner, uniform streets.

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Gladstone Land Dormers | Half Shuttered Windows | Royal Mile Tour | Edinburgh Old Town
Edinburgh
Marie de Bryas

EDINBURGH OLD TOWN: CITY SHAPED BY FIRE. PART 2

In Part 2 of the series I look at how, after centuries of frequent and repetitive burnings, the city of
Edinburgh started to use its architecture to prevent and reduce fires. Control through laws and regulations was used as a means of prevention.

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John Knox House | Oldest House | Jettying | Timber House |
Edinburgh
Marie de Bryas

Edinburgh Old Town: City Shaped by Fire. Part 1

In this three-part series, I explore how the different forms of fire,
from the physical element, the threat of burning, and the control of this
fire, have all lead to the uniformity of architecture in the historic heart of Edinburgh.

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Royal Mile Tour | Tron Kirk | Edinburgh Old Town Architecture
Edinburgh
Kaja Svab

To Replicate or to Readapt?

At the time of speculations on the replacement of the spire at Notre Dame de Paris, we take a look at how Edinburgh has dealt with restoration of its lost architecture.

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Forth Railway Bridge Island | Edinburgh Tours
History
Kaja Svab

Many ways to cross the Forth

The river Forth boasts an awe-inspiring set of bridges. All built with a different structural approach, they bring many an engineer for a tour.

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David's tower Edinburgh Old Town
Visits
Olga Gogoleva

Edinburgh Castle: A tour to David’s Tower

For nearly half a millennium it lay built over and only rediscovered a century ago. It is usually closed to visitors, but on a special tour organised by Historic Scotland events team the entry was permitted to a group of enthusiasts.

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